Transforming Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes in Tertiary Hospitals in Ghana: An Integrated Approach for Systems Change.
OBJECTIVE: In Ghana, regional referral facilities by design receive a disproportionate number of high-risk obstetric and neonatal cases and therefore have mortality rates higher than the national average. High volumes and case complexity result in these facilities experiencing unique clinical, operational, and leadership challenges. In order to improve outcomes in these settings, an integrated approach to strengthen the overall system is needed. METHODS: Clinical skills strengthening, quality improvement training, and leadership skill building have all been used to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes with some degree of success. We present here a customized model tailored to the particular context of tertiary referral hospitals that develops these three skills simultaneously, so that the complex interaction between clinical conditions, resource constraints, and organizational issues that affect the lives of mothers and babies can be considered together. This model uses local data to identify the drivers of poor maternal and neonatal outcomes and creates an integrated training package to focus on approaches to addressing these drivers. Based on this training, quality improvement projects are introduced to change the appropriate clinical or operational processes, or to strengthen organizational leadership. RESULTS: In testing in one of the largest referral hospitals in Ghana, the model has been well received and has improved performance in several cross-cutting areas affecting the quality of maternal and neonatal care, such as triage, patient flow, and NICU hand hygiene. CONCLUSION: An integrated approach to systems strengthening in referral hospitals holds much promise for improving outcomes for mothers with high-risk pregnancies and babies in Ghana and in other low-resource settings.
Ramaswamy, R; Iracane, S; Srofenyoh, E; Bryce, F; Floyd, L; Kallam, B; Olufolabi, A; Van Zeyl, R; Owen, M
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